Yearly Archive 1st April 2021

Managing Risk: From Assessment to Control. Bringing your Risk Assessment to Life

10:30am 25 May 2021 – Block it out in your diary now!

Effective risk management systems allow an organisation, large or small, to meet its legal requirements in protecting workers by not only identifying risk but putting in place measures to ensure adequate risk controls. Too often risk assessment becomes a tick-box exercise but it’s vitally important that the organisation is mindful of the risks that are identified and takes ongoing action to monitor and manage them. This strong focus on worker health and safety, in turn, benefits organisational performance.

This webinar will feature a panel of experts from HSE including HM Health and Safety Inspectors, and NEBOSH who will discuss current guidance and principles in tackling risk. We’ll be taking questions during the webinar and highlighting resources, products and services that can help you build a successful risk management programme that protects employees from harm.

All attendees will earn CPD points.

BOHS Open letter to Deputy First Minister of Scotland Mr John Swinney

The British Occupational Hygiene Society sent an Open Letter to John Swinney, MSP, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary For Education and Skills to express concern about alarming trends in the latest Office for National Statistics figures on COVID-19 deaths and warn of dire consequences if better protection of workers from COVID-19 infection is not put in place.

We share a copy below, the original can be found on the BOHS website.

29 January 2021

Dear Mr Swinney

Use of Medical Grade Respirators for COVID-19 protection

We write on behalf of the British Occupational Hygiene Society, the Chartered Society for Worker Health Protection, and a leading authority on the use of respiratory protection. Throughout the pandemic our members in industry, academia and expert advisory roles have been leading the work to ensure that there is proper protection for workers.

We have been very impressed by the unflinching attitude of the Scottish Government to implementing the best scientific advice for the protection of people in Scotland. It is in this spirit that we take the unprecedented step of writing openly to you in order to address the growing crisis in the protection of Scottish workers.

The data from the recent ONS bulletin relating to COVID-19 deaths and occupations are generally consistent with the growing body of epidemiologic evidence showing the significantly increased risk of contracting COVID-19 from work.

In the light of the most recent data from the Office for National Statistics on COVID-19 mortality by occupation, we are writing to ask you to mandate the use of FFP2 and FFP3 respiratory protection for all healthcare workers, those in public-facing roles, alongside any roll-out of “medical grade” masks to the general public.This should not be done in isolation, but in conjunction with a systematic review of other control measures, including ventilation, engineering controls and social distancing.

Following discussions with bodies such as the Infection Prevention Society and the Faculty of Occupational Medicine, we believe that many of the risks in the healthcare setting arise from the complex non-clinical and support functions within hospitals. We believe that occupational hygiene management should extend beyond normal patient-facing infection prevention controls and address management of COVID-19 in other areas such as receipt of deliveries, catering and cleaning staff and all non-clinical aspects of the workplace.

As highlighted by recent correspondence to the Journal of Occupational Medicine, healthcare workers in Scotland, who are at higher risk of infection than the general public, are still being issued only with fluid resistant surgical masks. This is insufficient, given all the evidence of airborne transmission risks and the data of infection. This is confirmed by the Health and Safety Executive’s own assessment, which can be found at Filtering Facepiece or powered respirators should be a requirement if we are not to put at risk those people who we rely on to support the health of others.

At the same time, our experience of supporting the health service is that even those trained in infection control have struggled to manage fitting respirators. Thus, in addition, there needs to be provision of proper training in wearing, testing of adequate fit and maintenance of respirators to render them effective. In our view, without proper fitting and maintenance, the effectiveness of FFP2 and FFP3 respirators will be compromised.

We also draw your attention to higher mortality rates among workers, other than those in public-facing roles, including those working in manufacturing, production lines and engineering. Clearly, there is a need for more effective communication of the appropriate controls, and we stand ready to assist with this in whatever way we can.

Signed on behalf of the British Occupational Hygiene Society,

Kelvin Williams, Chartered Occupational Hygienist, Kelvin Williams Ltd, President of the British Occupational Hygiene Society

Alison Margary, Chartered Occupational Hygienist, Margary Wade Ltd, President Elect of the British Occupational Hygiene Society

John Dobbie, Regional Industrial Hygiene Director, Past President of the British Occupational Hygiene Society

Raymond Agius, Emeritus Professor of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Dr Rob Aitken, CEO of the Institute of Occupational Medicine

Professor John Cherrie, Principal Scientist, Institute of Occupational Medicine, Past President of the British Occupational Hygiene Society

Adrian Hirst, Chartered Occupational Hygienist, Hirst Consulting Ltd, Past President of the British Occupational Hygiene Society

Adrian Sims, Managing Director, Vent-Tech Ltd, Director, WorkSafe Design Limited, Specialist Member (MFOH(S)) of the British Occupational Hygiene Society

Professor Kevin Bampton, CEO of the British Occupational Hygiene Society

Scotland, it’s time to roll up our sleeves

The Scottish Government are launching the National Covid-19 Vaccination Campaign – Scotland, it’s time to roll up our sleeves

The Covid-19 Vaccine campaign is targeted at all adults in Scotland, and will aim to communicate the importance and safety of the vaccine, and encourage people to get the vaccine when they are offered it. The campaign will run from 21st January to 21st February, and will be live across TV, radio, digital, social, OOH and press.  You can find further information on the COVID-19 vaccines on NHS Inform website: Roll Up Your Sleeves | NHS inform and can find all available leaflets here: Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine leaflets | NHS inform

How to Help

The COVID-19 vaccination programme is the biggest mass vaccination programme ever run in Scotland, and it’s important that as people become eligible they get the vaccine quickly in order for us all to get back to things we miss sooner. For that, we need your help to share these messages. Please support the campaign by sharing these messages with your internet and external audiences, and when sharing on social channels please include the hashtag #WeAreScotland

Stakeholder Toolkit

The Stakeholder Toolkit contains the following information and assets:

  • Information on the vaccination programme
  • Key messages
  • Static social media assets and copy
  • Video assets for social media
  • TV ad
  • Video assets
  • Editorial copy
  • Leaflets

Campaign Assets

You can find campaign assets on the links below:

We will be adding further assets into Dropbox in the days to come:

  • A poster will be made available  by end of day 22nd January 2021
  • A BSL version of the TV ad will be available by the 30th January 2021

Free Webinar on 13th January – Supportive Conversations

Headtorch are experts in workplace mental health, a team of specialists in learning & development and psychology, backed up by clinical and legal professionals.

With proven results, they enable organisations to build a positive mental health culture. Their programmes increase engagement, help to reduce absenteeism and importantly, create a workplace where people thrive.

Join a free webinar on the 13th January at 13:00

  • what stops us having a supportive conversation
  • what qualities and skills lived experience of mental ill-health brings to the workplace
  • being aware of the comfort, stretch and panic zones
  • how to spot signs of stress and mental ill-health in others
  • the skills needed to have a supportive conversation
  • why they work
  • knowing your support options